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Reputation is going to be the best-selling album of 2017. Deal with it. Variety reports that Taylor Swift's sixth studio album sold 1.28 million copies in its first week of release, putting it on track to be the biggest album of the year, especially if it gets the expected holiday bump.
Swift always releases her albums in the Fall because she knows that she can ride the Christmas wave for more album sales, something only a few artists can do in the single-dominated streaming era. In fact, Swift and her label, Big Machine Records, kept the album off streaming platforms like Spotify for the first week of its release for exactly this reason: to drive up sales. If you wanted to listed to Reputation in toto before last Friday, you had to either buy it in full on iTunes, grab a physical copy from Target, or tune into iHeartRadio. The strategy apparently paid off handsomely; according to the article, "total consumption, which includes audio streams for Reputation tracks over the last seven days, [is] closer to 1.29 million."
Reputation's debut had something of a rocky rollout followed by a positive reception. The four singles released before the rest of the album -- "Look What You Made Me Do," "...Ready For It?" "Gorgeous and "Call It What You Want" got a mixed reaction, but when reputation dropped on November 10 it was praised by critics. Taylor did a two-song set on SNL; the first was fine but her dancing was awkward, while her second, acoustic performance was Classic Taylor. Then she made Jimmy Fallon cry by singing "New Year's Day" shortly after the death of his mother. Now, the verdict is in: Taylor is back on top. Ready for it?